China Sunergy sees first-quarter revenue increase

China Sunergy Co., Ltd. posted a 13.4% increase in revenue in the first three months of 2013 as it continued to expand operations in emerging markets and managed to narrow its net loss from loss from $70.5 million in the fourth quarter of last year to $22.9million.

The Nanjing-based module manufacturer said its shipments in the period totaled 102.5 MW, an increase of 30.7% from 78.4 MW a quarter ago. Module shipments represented 98.3 MW, or 95.9% of total shipments. The company said the average selling price for its modules was $0.59 per watt, a 7.8% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2012.

The company saw its operating loss decrease from $42.4 million a quarter ago to $15 million while achieving a gross margin of 0.4%, compared to negative 3.7% in the final quarter of 2012.

China Sunergy CEO Stephen Cai said, "We are pleased that despite the industry’s persistent oversupply, the company was able to grow revenue and returned to positive gross margin in the first quarter. We continued our geographic diversification, and took further steps to reduce operating expenses."

Cai said the company remained optimistic and confident in its future, adding, "In light of the current market environment, we have determined that revenue growth, while desirable, is not our highest priority at this time. For the rest of 2013, we will continue to seek downstream opportunities and disciplined expansions in emerging markets."

Cai also announced that China Sunergy would move more production capacity to its new plant in Turkey, which began accepting bulk orders in June. The company had signed a 2 MW module supply contract for distributed roof-top projects in the Netherlands with Oskomera Solar Power Solutions B.V. China Sunergy shipped the first batch in June and will complete the remainder in July from the plant in Turkey, which not only makes it possible to meet the delivery deadline, but also mitigates the provisional anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the EU.

As a result of the move, the company lowered its shipment outlook in 2013 to between 500 MW and 550 MW, compared to the previous estimate of 550 MW to 600 MW. Between April and June, China Sunergy estimates that total shipments will have ranged between 100 MW and 110 MW and is expecting its gross margin to reach the high single-digit level in the period.